impotence

noun
im·​po·​tence | \ˈim-pə-tən(t)s \

Definition of impotence 

: the quality or state of being impotent: such as

a : lack of power, strength, or vigor : weakness … the growing impotence of governments in the face of corporate willfulness and regional factionalism.— Alan Wexelblat

b : an abnormal physical or psychological state of a male characterized by inability to engage in sexual intercourse because of failure to have or maintain an erection : erectile dysfunction

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Examples of impotence in a Sentence

the congressional committee's essential impotence in affecting the management of the war was frustrating to its members

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s obviously a lot of anger and frustration here toward the US government at the moment—along with side effects like bottled rage and sometimes a creeping sense of ineptitude or impotence about our ability to do anything about it. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova On Her New Guide To Activism, Raising The Next President Of Russia, And Her "Holy War" On Fairy Tales," 12 Oct. 2018 In exchange for political impotence, they would be mostly left alone and allowed to get rich. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras," 8 July 2018 Their suspicion is compounded by rumors that the polio vaccine causes impotence, death and, ironically, paralysis. Meher Ahmad, New York Times, "Pakistan Has Just One New Polio Case, but Isn’t Declaring Victory Yet," 20 May 2018 Fighting back, even as an exercise in impotence, did a lot for McCain. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "John McCain rebelled at the Naval Academy — and as a POW — long before he was a Senate maverick," 3 May 2018 Feelings of desperation and impotence are being felt throughout Central America, where the lawlessness, endemic poverty and levels of gang violence akin to war zones that have driven so many families from their homes show little signs of abating. Washington Post, "Violence keeps Central Americans coming to US despite Trump," 21 June 2018 Uruguay's attacking impotence forced Oscar Tabarez to make two changes before the hour mark, with Nahitan Nandez and Giorgian de Arrascaeta replaced by Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez. SI.com, "Egypt 0-1 Uruguay: La Celeste Start With a Win as Gimenez Header Breaks Pharaohs' Hearts," 15 June 2018 It was fueled by physician ignorance and impotence, the habit of looking askance at patients whose symptoms could not be explained, and the arrival in the U.S. of German psychoanalysts who were disciples of Sigmund Freud. Jim Carrier, STAT, "Lobotomies were once used to treat this gut disease, part of a shameful medical history," 12 June 2018 That signing's top attribute had better be goal-scoring, because the Sounders simply can't sustain with this level of attacking impotence. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "The MLS XI, Week 14: Don't Hold Your Breath for an MLS Cup Threematch," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impotence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of impotence

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for impotence

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for impotence

The first known use of impotence was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for impotence

impotence

noun
im·​po·​tence | \ˈim-pə-təns \

Kids Definition of impotence

: the quality or state of lacking power or strength

impotence

noun
im·​po·​tence | \ˈim-pət-ən(t)s \

Medical Definition of impotence 

1 : the quality or state of not being potent drug-resistant bacteria are a virulent indicator of the growing impotence of antibiotics

2 : an abnormal physical or psychological state of a male characterized by inability to engage in sexual intercourse because of failure to have or maintain an erection

called also erectile dysfunction

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Comments on impotence

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